In a country where up-and-coming farmers struggle to access finance, Agri SA and the Motsepe Foundation yesterday unveiled a R70 million financing boost to two farming projects in Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
In a statement released on Wednesday (14 June 2022), Agri SA reveals that its subsidiary Agri Enterprises joined forces with the Motsepe Foundation to “reimagine development funding and foster greater collaboration to accelerate the inclusivity of the agricultural sector”.
The first phase of the initiative entails R70 million in total, to two separate farming projects. For legal and tax purposes, and because of the commercial nature of the beneficiary projects, the Motsepe Foundation facilitated the R70 million through a company established by the Motsepe family.
The first is the joint ventures established following the successful Greater Tenbosch land claim in Mpumalanga. Three ventures have been established to cultivate cane on this land, and consumer goods giant RCL Foods – currently the sole funder of the joint ventures – has been a crucial partner for this project.
The other project is Majeje Citrus, in partnership with the Majeje Traditional Authority, which was set up with the support of Komati Fruit and Absa. It occupies land still owned by the state, despite the recognition of the community and its chieftaincy.
The money from Agri Enterprises and the Motsepe Foundation will now let the community develop its land and participate in the cultivation of South Africa’s most thriving agricultural commodity, says Agri SA.
The two projects will jointly create and maintain over 1 500 seasonal and permanent jobs and will impact around 5 700 livelihoods.
‘Realising the objectives of democratic South Africa’
Commenting on the motivation for the initiative, Agri SA and the Motsepe Foundation say they have identified access to capital as a key constraint to projects with real potential.
They have therefore partnered to find concrete solutions and to support and advance emerging farmers, and believe they have demonstrated “the ability and the will of the agricultural sector to help realise the objectives of democratic South Africa”.
Getting the buy-in of communities and their leaders was also critical. Agri SA says it is therefore grateful for the support of traditional leaders in bringing these partnerships to fruition.
“The success of this collaboration is a testament not only to the effectiveness of private sector-led initiatives, but also the necessity of a holistic, multilateral approach to promoting inclusivity in the economy,” the organisation says.
New model for the future
“Agri SA is confident that the partnership with the Motsepe Foundation will provide a new and vital model for the support of forward-looking, private sector-led initiatives aimed at promoting inclusivity in the agricultural sector,” the organisation continues.
It says this innovative approach to development funding will be rolled out to more projects in the current phase, and that its leadership is looking forward to seeing communities transformed as this partnership expands throughout South Africa in the coming months.
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